Seven months into Abbott’s first term and how many big blunders has he made?
- Raised Australia’s national debt ceiling to $500 billion, and adding $50 billion to Gillard Labor’s departure debt of $257 billion by February 2014. The annual cost of servicing this Public Debt Interest alone is more than $300 million a year. The midyear economic review released last year forecast debt to rise from $310 billion in 2013/14 to $460 billion by 2016/17. Australia’s Annual Public Debt Interest is set to soar to half a billion a year just to pay the interest component.
- Let Australian Automotive Industry go to the wall – allowing multinationals Holden, Ford and Toyota to have reaped Aussie taxpayer subsidised billions gifted by Labor to stay then to shut up shop anyway. Now we hear 200,000 Australians in automotive are set to line up at the unemployment office.
- Stuck to his unaffordable Paid Parental Leave Scheme to cost $5.5 billion a year, to give a baby’s primary carer six months leave on the mother’s full pay up to an annual salary of $150,000. Rich getting hand outs, while Joe is set to cut and delay the aged pension? And most of those having babies are migrants anyway. Migrants are not entitled to arrive, breed and be gifted $150,000 by Australians. Abbott’s own Commission of Audit has concluded PPL is unaffordable and unfair.
- Stuck with Labor’s unaffordable NBN, while rejecting Labor’s revised $90 billion estimate, still committing Australian taxpayers to $29 billion, while many Australians don’t even have any Internet, and don’t want to watch videos on superfast broadband anyway.
- Stuck with Labor’s unaffordable National Disability Insurance Scheme, facing an NDIS budget blow-out of $400 million, and demanding 13,000 more workers to provide care and support for the scheme to work. The extravagance is expected to cost $40,000 per person, and that is only planning for half the targeted 4340 completed plans. The NDIS is expected to be fully up and running by 2019 at an estimated cost of $22 billion a year, while Hockey is set to slash Medicare. Ok if your disabled, but tough luck if you get sick.
- Gifted $8.8 billion to the Reserve Bank and so worsening the government’s budget deficit toward $40 billion. How hypocritical of the Liberals after canning Labor on budget deficits ad nauseam for six years. Former Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan had gouged Australian wealth out of the Reserve Bank to fund Labor’s reckless spending, so reducing RBA contingency reserves to just 3.8%. The RBA Governor was right to call for dividend payments to the government be suspended until reserves have been rebuilt. Labor and Liberals need to live within their means like the rest of us are expected to. No profit, no dividend.
- Signed blank cheque to do Malaysia’s and Boeing’s dirty work searching for Malaysian Airlines lost Boeing 777 flight MH370. So far the search has cost $53 million (excluding the high-tech US involvement), the most expensive search in aviation history and it is only week six. Abbott has thrown ships, satellites, planes and submarines at the effort, with no agreement, scope, budget or time limit. According to Defence, HMAS Success, the Australian navy replenishment vessel deployed two weeks ago, costs about $550,000 a day to operate. Abbott, on offering search leadership needs to have negotiated terms with an exit clause and Malaysia and Boeing should be sent the bill.
- Now we’re set to hear about the Badgerys Creek airport. Abbott’s biggest white elephant that will shape his legacy. How many billions? Who so “desperately” needs it? Where’s the cost-benefit? Where is the budget, the plans, the impact statements? Whose lives will be destroyed? Not Abbott’s or Hockeys’ up there on the north shore.
And for Abbott’s Heavy Spending, who will be doing Hockey’s Heavy Lifting?